Group Project ideas

Religion

I would love to do a multimedia project on religious ceremonies/meetings from the start of the day till the end. For instance, I want to do a video where we start at the mosque at sunrise then end in the evening with the Catholic evening mass. I want to sprinkle in shots of several religions in the middle, like afternoon lunch prayer at the Baptist church, mid-morning prayers at temple, people who are Hindu doing home prayers and rituals, etc. I want the shots to vary from setting to setting with the theme that religion is a unified and personal ritual. Kind of like a play on Life in a Day, but solely about religion.

I then would love to then do a portrait series of prominent religious figures in town as a secondary element. A key element here is that I want to feature a lot of religions in both the video and portrait series.

Jo Hackman

Jo Hackman has been growing pumpkins in Hartsburg, Missouri since 1979. Her son and daughter help, as well as local high school boys, but she still maintains a lot of her patch. I want to do a multimedia piece of her growing the pumpkins and maintaining the farm. This is timely because the Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival is on Oct. 14-15 and it is a festival that brings two thousand people a day to a town of 105. Hackman is a big deal for that festival and provides a lot of the pumpkins, apples and straw.

The video can be of her being a local farmer and how she is getting older and going to decide the future of her farm. This is very reflective of agriculture in Missouri.

The secondary component can be a photo story of her involvement with the festival, which is incredibly timely because we can have it ready for publication the day after it happens.

TRYPS Hospital visit

TRYPS is an after school theatre and dance group that often has their students dress in Disney costumes for local parties and things like that. The group also visits the children’s hospital in costume to cheer up the young patients.

For the video, I want to have a studio set up with a black backdrop and black table cloth, have the subject sit down and apply their makeup to transform to a Disney prince/princess/character. I want the video to vaguely look like Cosmopolitan’s drag transformation videos , but not on a time lapse. And I want the subject to slowly transform into their character: Start speaking like them, sitting like them, etc. The video is mainly about the act of a performance and transformation. I would also like to have at least three camera set up to get details of putting on makeup, wigs, eyelashes, etc.

For the photo component, I would like to do a photo story about the characters actually going to the hospital and interacting with kids.

I have emailed the director to find out when they are going to visit the hospital next.

 

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Anne Lamott

I really appreciated when Anne would say how the students focused so much on how to get an agent rather than better preparing their writing. I think this can also be seen with photography. I think a lot of people don’t focus on bettering their skills. It felt like Lamott was trying to reiterate the idea of doing writing because you love writing and not getting lost in the other crap.

I also see this within my own work when I shoot for a publication and get into a rhythm that is to just fulfill the publication and not fulfill my creativity.

I also like how Lamott writes about the process and how it won’t look good at the beginning and how striving for perfectionism hurts the originally brainstorming process.

Great Picture Story

I found Akasha Rabut’s work while searching through potential photographers needed for CNN. She is based in New Orleans, Louisiana, and has been featured on Lightbox. I love her project, “Carmel Curves.”

http://www.akasharabut.com/

I love it because I think it tells a different side of the typical motorcycle story. I also love her toning, use of portraiture and detail shots.

It also seems evident that the sources trusted the photographer by allowing her shoot on several different occasions.

New endeavors

Hello yes I had to pretty much blow the dust off of this blog, and I’m sorry about that. BUT I just wanted to let y’all know that I have not given up on film or talking about film to people.

Recently, my friend Josh and I decided that we love talking movies, contrary to the fact that we both are not by any means film experts, so why not make a podcast about it?

So, if you have time I would greatly appreciate you taking a listen to Leave the Podcast, Take the Cannoli: Film Idiots Talk Film Topics. Here you can listen to our first episode and figure out what movies we have been lying about watching over the years.

TTPLTC

Whiplash (2014)

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Warning: After watching this movie, you will listen to jazz music everyday and wish that you didn’t quit band in middle school.  Well, maybe not the last part.

Andrew (Miles Teller) is a first year student at the Shaffer Music Conservatory in New York.  Andrew auditions and makes it into the studio band, which is led by Terrence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons).  Fletcher is an intense (to say the least) band director that using profanity and sometimes physical abuse to push his band students.

Simmons performance in this film was just unbelievable.  He perfectly emulated everyone’s hardest coach, boss, parent and teacher by cursing at Andrew and played multiple mind games to arguably help Andrew’s career.  Simmons was unbelievably harsh to say the very least.  His character was incredibly believably because anyone in the audience can have war flashbacks to that mentor that they have had in their lives that pushed them so far off the edge that they began to lose themselves.  In fact, throughout the movie Andrew started to lose himself the further and further he got into the studio band program.

It was just absolutely insane what Fletcher did to his students to have them become “one of the greats.” I mean think about the worst teacher that you have ever had, times ten, plus the pressure of winning a competition and trying to also maintain other relationships in your life.  Andrew really pushed himself to the point where he would be drumming so hard that he started bleeding on the set.  This movie is so realistic and that is partially because the screenplay is based off of Damien Chazelle‘s, the writer of Whiplash, life experiences from his years in music schools.  Yikes.  But, writers write what they know, right?  I mean it works out for him because this movie is unbelievably good.

One of my favorite motifs of the whole movie is the constant theme of musicality.  There is always a drum set, clarinet, horns and other jazz instruments playing in the background.  It really helps aid the plot along as well as stress you the bleep out when more serious scenes happen.  My friend that saw this movie with me said that she isn’t even this stressed while watching a horror or action film.  I’ll admit that I was mildly sweating throughout this film.  But don’t let the intensity discourage you because this is easily one of my favorite movies in a long time.

Oscar prediction:  It’s hard to say.  I think J.K Simmons absolutely has a chance to get the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, but I think that this year it is a particularly hard category to be in.  When you are up against Ethan Hawke in Boyhood, Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher and Edward Norton in Birdman, it’s really any man’s game.  Any of those nominees could win the award and deserve it.  I personally am happy with any of those guy winning, but I definitely think Simmons has a chance.  However, I don’t think the film was “wow” enough for the Academy to give it Best Picture.  I mean it just isn’t what the Academy gives the Best Picture to (cough cough World War II biopics cough.)  I would love it to, but there are just a lot of solid movies on the list this season.

Overall:

Whiplash is phenomenal.  It is captivating in the sense that any person who has been severely pushed to succeed at something, whether that is in music, to get into your dream college or department or to have your dream job, can relate to this film.  It is even painful to watch how far Andrew is willing to go to prove that he is the best.  It is one of the “realest” films I have seen in a while.  If you haven’t seen it yet, definitely try to before awards season.

4.5 out of 5 stars

 

The Final Stop: Rome (Days Nineteen through Twenty-One)

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So Rome is amazing and everyone needs to spend at least a week there at some point in their lives. Before I went on this trip, people told me that Rome is a walking museum and it truly is.

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The weather is beautiful, the food is to die for, the wine is cheaper than water and all the leather goods are just fan-freaking-tastic. I could go on and on and on about this city. Now I could never live here, but I would love to spend a month in a villa with a bottle of wine and a fat plate of pasta. Dream big, right?!

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Our group pretty much spent the first two days in the Vatican learning literally everything there probably is to know about it. Places like St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel were unbelievable. There is so much symbolism in the smallest country in the world.

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However, all of us had three back-to-back two hour walking tours so we were all pretty much done with the Vatican. And the worst part was that the Pope wasn’t even there!

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The Pantheon was my favorite area. It was surrounded by bunch of local shops, fountains and street performers. At night they had some guitarists while people drank coffee in little restaurants.

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Best cappuccino in the world was at this shop by the Pantheon called Sant Eustachio. It was £3 for two cappuccinos. Perfection. All my money either went to food or leather goods. We also were in Italy when they were having their post-Christmas sales where stuff was at least 50 percent off. But every five people in the city are trying to sell a selfie stick. I mean like every seven seconds someone would come up to me and say “Selfie? Selfie?” If I hear that word again, I might scream.

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But the best landmark is definitely the Coliseum. Pictures do not do it justice. When you start to think about how many people built it, watched gladiators and toured it, it just becomes unreal.

Now, after a couple days of hell-ish travel and still waiting for my suitcase, I am back state side and already miss Europe. After touring all of the cities, I definitely want to live abroad in Europe and hopefully London. My two favorite cities so far were London and Rome, but for two different reasons. London is an actual, semi-tangible place for me to live while Rome is the dream place to live. That and I think I could only do Rome for a couple months.

Anyway, if you are still reading thanks. And if you have been reading this series since the beginning, thank you even more! Adventure is out there!